A Guide to Common Grass Types in the South

A Guide to Common Grass Types in the South

As you address your home’s lawn care and landscaping needs, consider a few of the common grass types in the South: Bermudagrass, Bahia grass, Centipedegrass, St. Augustine, and Zoysiagrass. Understanding the seasons in which these grass types thrive and how to care for them will help you keep the lawns of your property beautiful and healthy.

Bermudagrass

Out of all the common grass types in the South, Bermuda is probably the most common in Alabama. It thrives in the hot southern summers and can withstand a chilly winter. In fact, some varieties of Bermuda grow in slightly more northern climates. The grass’s durable and verdant texture make it suitable for several different lawns, from golf course turf to your own backyard. Some characteristics of Bermudagrass include the following:

  • Resistant to drought,
  • Establishes easily after planting,
  • Can be cut short,
  • Repairs quickly from damages, and
  • Grows medium to fine in texture.

Bahia grass

Like Bermudagrass, Bahia is an all-purpose grass type, but it’s rugged nature makes it especially useful for pastures. Bahia grass is good for lawns, too, due to its durability; however, it grows in height quickly, and owners of Bahia lawns may need to mow it several times a week compared to other common grass types in the South. Some other characteristics of this grass type include the following:

  • Resistant to drought,
  • Establishes slowly (between three to four months),
  • Resistant to disease and pesticides,
  • Competes well with weeds due to thick growth, and
  • Grows a course texture.

Centipedegrass

If you want grass that does exceptionally well during the boiling southern summers, seed your lawns with Centipede. This perennial can only endure mildly cold temperatures, but once the freeze hits, it’ll fall dormant and turn brown. Centipede is also good for lawn owners who don’t care for much mowing, as this grass type likes to grow low. Here are some more characteristics of Centipedegrass:

  • Establishes slowly (between two to three months),
  • Tolerant to drought,
  • Aggressive against weeds, and
  • Requires little maintenance.

St. Augustine grass

Another member of the common grass types in the South is St. Augustine, a dense grass with dark green and broad blades. It is a preferred turf for pastures much like Bahia grass, and can rival Bermudagrass in popularity. St. Augustine can endure a variety of soil types, but doesn’t do well in droughts compared to other resilient southern grasses. Additional characteristics of St. Augustine grass include these traits:

  • Tolerates mild winters better than Bermudagrass,
  • Grows course texture blades,
  • Tolerates salty soils, and
  • Requires moderate maintenance.

Zoysia grass

Looking for a carpet-like lawn? Zoysia grows vividly green with medium to fine blades, making this type of grass great for lawns. It accomplishes this by growing sideways rather than straight up. Zoysia is so durable it can be found in northern and southern states; however, it’s less adapted for the central regions. Here are more characteristics of Zoysia grass:

  • Can control erosion on slopes,
  • Endures foot traffic,
  • Requires little maintenance due to low growth height,
  • Consumes less water due to deep roots, and
  • Resistant to disease and pests.

Understanding these various grass types in the South can help you choose grass that fits the needs of you and your lawn!

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